What Does Colombian Needs to Qualify for Qatar 2022?

Although the "cafeteros" achieved a good performance against Bolivia, they still have a complicated outlook for the future.

Players of the Colombian soccer team


LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: ¿Qué necesita la Selección de Colombia para clasificar a Qatar 2022?

The Colombian National Team defeated Bolivia 3-0. With goals from Luis Díaz, Miguel Borja and Mateus Uribe, they managed to break a streak of 7 games without even scoring a goal. Now, the problem is that the CONMEBOL Qualifiers are complicated and the bad performance of the past games can seriously compromise their chances for the next World Cup.

If Reinaldo Rueda's team wants to qualify, they need to beat Venezuela in the last match. Interestingly, the Vinotinto is directed by José Néstor Pekerman, who was the last coach to achieve great results in Colombia. However, they do not depend on themselves to obtain the passage, but rather have to aspire for an event to occur.

Although up to now Colombia has done 50% of the work to secure the ticket, the situation is not simple. To understand the context a bit, we must bear in mind that he is currently in sixth place in the standings, with 20 points. Their most immediate rival is Peru, who has just lost to Uruguay, already qualified for Qatar 2022.

Colombia's chances for Qatar 2022

Therefore, the situation is as follows: first, they will need a win against Venezuela the following Tuesday and hope that those led by Ricardo Gareca do not get three points against Paraguay. It should be noted that Paraguay is already out of the World Cup, which is why it has no reason to continue fighting with great intensity, except to form a structured team for the following competitions.

However, they recently showed a good performance against already qualified Ecuador, which they beat by 3 goals against 1. That is, both Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay secured the ticket to the World Cup. The fifth place enables a playoff and there is Peru, which depends on itself to pass.

Going back to the case of Colombia, in the event of a draw against Venezuela, they will have to bet on a total defeat of the red and white team against Paraguay. For this reason, the coach Reinaldo Rueda mentioned that they are going to look for a "great match" against Venezuela, since this is not the time for speculation about a possible tie.

Now, what has been Peru's record facing Paraguay in the Qualifiers in Lima? In the last 20 years, the Guarani could only get 0-0 in five games . That is to say, it is quite difficult for Paraguay, playing as a visitor and without being classified, to be able to hit it hard and achieve a victory.

This situation is somewhat paradoxical, since it is worth noting something unusual that happened in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers in Russia. At that time, Colombia faced Peru in Lima. At minute 76 there was already a 1-1 tie, a result that benefited both teams: Colombia qualified directly and Peru stayed in the playoffs.

For this reason, the two captains (Falcao and Paolo Guerrero) would have created the well-known "Pact of Lima", with the aim of maintaining the tie until the end and that both benefit. Unfortunately, now this resource becomes impossible, since Colombia needs to win against Venezuela and wait for a good result from Paraguay in Lima.

Now, Colombia has a benefit, which is the fact that it only depends on Peru. The only team that still has a mathematical chance of qualifying besides these two is Chile, which is lower in the table and is in an even more dramatic situation. La Roja needs to defeat Uruguay on the last date and for Colombia and Peru not to defeat Venezuela and Paraguay. This means that, before a victory for Colombia, Chile's chances will drop to 0.

Finally, another important detail: Colombia will face José Nestor Pekerman's Vinotinto, a true idol for the "cafeteros". He could be both the architect of happiness and sadness of Colombians. In other words, if Colombia beats Venezuela, it will take an important step to qualify. Instead, if they lose, they won't stand a chance.

Although Venezuela cannot qualify, it is clear that the objective of this country is to start a reconstruction for the 2026 World Cup and the following continental competitions. For this reason, the team has been strengthened in recent times, as Pekerman brings order to all its lines. This means that the match, while it may seem simple at first glance, should be played as a true final.

And you, who do you think will be the one to access the CONMEBOL playoff spot for the Qatar 2022 World Cup?

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